Too attentive to not be offensive, than is healthy for you

But plumbing the appeal of Dwayne Johnson the actor requires setting the size of the package aside for a moment, the better to zero in on subtleties: The expressiveness of those unnaturally mobile eyebrows or the way, either in character or during the course of an on-camera interview, he almost seems to blush when he makes a self-deprecating joke, as if he were wary of calling too much attention to himself. Johnson is so good-natured that even when he's not wearing a smile, his facial muscles carry the ghost of one. Maybe that's part of his charm as a performer: For such a big lug of a guy, his star quality is of the quiet sort.

[. . .]

But they haven't tarnished Johnson either. Just as his body has been trained and disciplined to sustain all sorts of physical abuse in the ring (he retired from pro wrestling in 2004), so is Johnson, as an actor, fully willing to endure all kinds of humiliation, ribbing and teasing emasculation — and always with a smile. (Stephanie Zacharek, “Dwayne Johnson: He still rocks my world,” Salon, 20 Jan. 2010)

Try watching WWE for a week, and turn back to your crush

No one can be part of the WWE environment for all that time, and be all that sane. He'll blush, and play the puppet for you, but that's just sad. On SNL, I root for him to be able to be TRULY in on the joke. He manages it, but just barely. He's known what it is to be long alone and unsure of his worth, and he's not wholly downed, which is why I cheer for him; but he's not much more than an amphibian to Pamela Anderson's fishy-fish -- but a couple (well, maybe a few more than a couple) steps up in the "fully there" department, that is.

He managed to do WWE and be hugely popular, all the while still communicating that this was but a stage he'd be abandoning for the more respectable -- which does say something for him. If you prefer him to a Tom Cruise, it must have something to do with liking guys who are more attendant to not be offensive, to soothe down the nerved, than is healthy for them. I think that's it.

Link: “Dwayne Johnson: He still rocks my world” (Salon)


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